Thank you for showing me how to play chess, for giving me your trumpet, for being the dispenser of sage, fatherly advice, and most of all, for teaching me about God. Though I didn’t know it, your life was one of the first examples I saw of what it meant to “be a Christian”.
Today we sang “Take My Life and Let it Be” in church. I remember singing that the last time I saw you when you were really you: we had dinner at your house with the S.’s, then you read from the Bible in your commanding baritone and led us in singing. Then we played the mystery person/family game in the living room. I think you won one of the rounds, under the name of “Abraham Lincoln.” But I digress. Indeed, the words of this hymn so beautifully describe the life you lived.
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
This morning, I could practically hear Jesus saying, “Well done, My good and faithful servant”. Now, rest in the love of Jesus’ arms: be at peace with your sister and mother and father and all those who have passed before you, and know that many who remain greatly look forward to joining you.
My childhood pastor passed away this morning after a long battle (is it even fair to call it that?) with Parkinsons’ disease. I credit the fact that I am still a part of the church to the strong foundation that he and the church he led helped lay in my life.